AMERICAN FORK YOUTH BASEBALL LEAGUE RULES
UPDATED April 2019
Unless specified below, all games for the Majors, Minors and Rookies Divisions shall be played according to the most current rules established by the Cal Ripken Baseball, www.baberuthleague.org/cal-ripken-baseball.aspx. Changes, deletions, or additions to these rules can be made at any time by the Board of Directors.
- Games and Play-off schedules are determined by the Board of Directors. All games must be played according to the schedule. However, because of mitigating circumstances, requests for rescheduling games may be considered by the League Commissioner prior to "opening day". After opening day, requests for rescheduling games should occur no later than one week prior to the scheduled games, and will require consensus approval of the League Commissioner and the respective Division Commissioner (VP). Without such approval, the game will be forfeited by the team if it is unable to field an appropriate number of players for the specified date.
- In the event of unplayable conditions due to inclement or threatening weather, or wet fields, rain or darkness or other causes make further play impossible, both coaches for the scheduled games or member of the Board of Directors shall rule on the possible postponement of games. Team managers will instruct their players to show up for games, if they have not been contacted by the manager.
- There is no weather hotline, ALWAYS show up, with your team, and be prepared to play.
- Every attempt will be made to reschedule games into the first available spot. Back to back games will be avoided wherever possible. Every attempt will be made to play every game! Rescheduled games will not be postponed a second time because of the inability of either or both teams to field a team. Any game that cannot be rescheduled will be considered a tie game for standing purposes.
- Should lightning be observed, it is the responsibility of the plate umpire, a coach, or a Director, to halt the game and the team Managers will clear the field of all players immediately. At fields where multiple games are being played, if a game at one of the fields is stopped pursuant to this rule, play must stop on all other fields as well. Play will not be resumed until the danger has passed. If the lightning and thunder come within 5 seconds, everyone will be removed from the field. Safety will always come first.
- The official weekday game start time is no later that 4:30pm and 6:15pm. Starting times for weekend games will be 10:00am, 11:15am, and 12:30pm until mid May, then the games will start one hour earlier- 9:00am, 10:15am, and 11:30am. A 5-minute grace period from the schuduled start time will be allowed for each team if waiting for the minimum number of players to officially start the game. Seven (7) players must be present to start. In the event no other players come, you will be required to take an out on your eighth batter.
7. Game times for the rescheduled games will be determined by the Board of Directors. The following applies to these games:
- If another AFYBL game is scheduled to start at a specific time following the game in question, then no inning shall be allowed to start (in the earlier game) beyond the scheduled starting time of the later game as long as the first game is an official game
- If an umpire or a member of the Board of Directors is not available at game time, the Team managers shall determine if conditions warrant playing the game and will appoint an umpire.
- Team Managers of incomplete games must notify their Division Commissioners immediately so a make-up game can be scheduled and umpires assigned. If the league is unable to staff the umpire, each team will provide one parent to umpire the game.
FULL AND OFFICIAL GAMES
- FULL GAMES for each division are:
Majors Division: 6 innings of 90 minutes, no new innings will be started once 90 minutes is reached for both 4:30pm and 6:15pm games
Minors Division: 6 innings or 80 minute, no new innings will be started once 80 minutes is reached for both 4:30pm and 6:15pm games
Rookies Division: 1 hour, 60 minutes, no new innings will be started once 60 minutes is reached
Start time will be recorded in both team score books at the start of the game
- OFFICIAL GAMES for each division are:
ALL DIVISIONS TIME LIMIT FIRST!!!
Majors Division: 4 innings
Minors Division: 3 innings
- TEN RUN RULE: A game shall also be considered official if, after the required number of innings have been completed, a game is terminated due to weather or darkness or the leading team's advantage is ten or more runs
- An OFFICIAL GAME that ends in a tie will not be rescheduled. In the event of a tie, Majors and Minors Divisions will use the "international tie breaker"
- INTERNATIONAL TIE BREAKER: When a regulation game ends in a tie, the International Tie Breaker rule is used. At the beginning of each team's at bat, the last official batter to be put out from the previous inning is placed on 2nd base, no outs. Only one tie breaker inning will be played. If the game ends in a tie, it is recorded as a tie. *If the international tie breaker is used during a tournament and a tie occurs, a second inning tie breaker will be used with the last official batter out on 3rd, with no outs.
- Extra innings will be played only if the game is tied and will only be played if there is sufficient light or time to finish the inning at the discretion of the AFYBL Director
GAME PROTEST RULES AND PROCEDURES
- It is emphasized that protests are not encouraged and should only be filed after the Division Commissioner has been consulted regarding the rule infraction and has had ample chance to resolve the question(s) with concerned Team Managers
- If a Team Manager evaluates a situation which occurs during the process of a game and files an official protest, the following rules and procedures shall be used by the Board of Directors in reaching a decision regarding said protest. Scorebooks from each team must be marked NO PITCH and signed by the umpire
- Any Umpires judgement decision (call) on a particular pitch or play is NOT protestable.
- Protests must be in writing and forwarded to the Division Commissioner within 24 hours of the incident
- Protests concerning rules of the game must be made at the point of the alleged infraction before the next legal pitch is thrown or runner is retired. Pertinent facts and circumstances will be accurately noted by the umpire.
- If a game is played under protest, the scorebooks of both teams must be turned into the plate umpire at the conclusion of the game.
- Protest and forfeiture claims will be considered and acted upon by the AFYBL Board of Directors.
PLAYER SUBSTITUTION RULES
- In the Minor and Rookies Divisions, each player must play at least every other inning in the field.
- EXCEPTION: A player having pitched 4 or more innings may be allowed to remain on the bench, at the Manager’s discretion.
- When there are 12 or more players present at a game, each player shall sit at least one defensive inning of the first five innings. If there are less than 12 players present at a game no player shall sit for more than two defensive innings in a regulation (6 inning) game. The intention of this rule is to better balance playing time.
- In the Major League, each player must play a minimum of two full innings in the field.
- In the Rookie Division, if a player misses his/her turn at bat due to an injury, he/she will be allowed back into the game at the coaches discretion. The next scheduled batter will be at bat.
- If a runner must be removed from a game due to an injury, illness, or for other reasons, he/she will be replaced by a pinch runner. The pinch runner will be the last player to have been declared out.
- If there are two outs in the inning, and the catcher of the team at bat reaches base, he/she may be substituted on the base by the last player to make an out. This permits the catcher to return to the dugout area to put on his/her catchers equipment.
- Violation of the player substitution rule is a protestable offense which could result in forfeiture of the game. If the Board, either by way of protest or through the report from an umpire or director/manager, determines that a Team Manager or acting manager willfully violates the substitution rule, automatic forfeiture of the game in questions will occur.
- There will be no drafting minor league players for majors games due to the lack of players for any reason.
PITCHING RULES (GENERAL)
- Pitching rules apply to a period of one week. A week is defined for the purposes of these rules, as Sunday through Saturday.
- Major League and 11-12 Minor Teams (when applicable) will need to pitch a "younger pitcher" at least 1/3 of the innings played per week. A younger pitcher in the Majors and Minors 11-12 (when applicable) divisions is any player younger than 12 years old. In the Minors 9-10 division (2018) a "younger pitcher" is 9 years old. Only innings and outs pitched by young pitchers count toward satisfying the Babe Ruth League younger pitcher rule (6b). In the event that a game is shortened for any reason, the young pitcher requirement will be shortened also, ¼ the outs played for the week for the Majors League and Minors 11-12 (when applicable) and 1/3 outs played for the week for the 9-10 Minor League teams.
- The HOME TEAM SCOREBOOK will be the official scorebook for the game. BOTH TEAMS WILL RECORD GAME START TIME.
- You will be required to notify the umpire of a pitching change. The umpire will record the pitchers information on a pitching log and will turn it in at the end of each night.
- The pitched innings on a "make up" game or rescheduled game will be taken for the week of the original or scheduled playing time. The pitcher still will have a maximum of 6 innings per week in conjunction with any other games in the same week.
- In the Majors a pitcher cannot be used for more than four (4) innings in a single game, with a maximum of 6 innings per week, this includes all games pitched outside of the AFYBL. If the pitcher is used in their fourth inning, a two (2) day rest is mandatory before the remaining innings can be pitched. (one pitch constitutes an inning)
- In the Minors a pitcher cannot be used for more than three (3) innings in a single game, with a maximum of 6 innings per week, this includes all games pitched outside of the AFYBL, and rest rules will apply.
- The manager must remove the pitcher when said pitcher reaches the limit for his/her age group as noted, but the pitcher may remain in the game at another position.
- However, the failure by the home team book scorekeeper to notify the umpire, and/or failure of the umpire to notify the manager, does not relieve the manager of his/her responsibility to remove a pitcher when that pitcher is no longer eligible.
Violation of any section of this regulation can result in protest of the game in which it occurs. Protest shall be made in accordance with the Babe Ruth Rule book.
- A starting pitcher (a starting pitcher only) can return if he/she still has innings to pitch.
- However, the second trip to the mound in the same inning to the same pitcher shall automatically result in the removal of that pitcher from the game as pitcher only.
- Violation of any of the above rules is a protestable offense, which could result in forfeiture of the game.
- The batter becomes the runner and is entitled to first base without liability to be put out when: He/she is touched by a pitched ball which he/she is not attempting to hit unless the ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, or batter makes no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball.
- If the ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, it shall be called a strike, whether or not the batter tries to avoid the ball. If the ball is outside the strike zone when it touched the batter, it shall be called a ball if he/she makes no attempt to avoid being touched.
- In all divisions if a pitcher hits three batters in a game, he/she will automatically be removed from pitching. He/she may continue to play in the game, but cannot pitch.
- Starting pitchers and relief pitchers are allowed eight (8) warm-up pitches in their first inning of work. And then limited to five (5) warm up pitches between innings.
- Before starting the game, each Manager must notify the opposing Manager of pitcher eligibility and verify/sign each others scorebook at the end of the game.
- Due to scheduling conflicts or any other unforeseen circumstances the League President or League Commissioner may waive or alter pitching eligibility rules for any game at any time prior to the start of the game.
- Rest rules apply to players that pitch outside of Babe Ruth League with managers having sole responsibility to protect the player and his/her development. This is not grounds for forfeit or protest.
- Before the start of the game, the plate umpire must cover ground rules for the particular field with both Team Managers.
- All equipment must be kept behind the team bench or backstop at all times. Equipment must be kept out of bounds. Team managers are responsible to see that this rule is adhered to by all players and coaches. An umpire will award a base if the defensive team leaves equipment on the outside of the dugout fence. If the offensive team leaves equipment on the outside of the dugout fence the runner on base will be required to return to the previous base.
- The regulation pitching distance between home plate and the pitching rubber for each division is: Majors and Minors 46 feet on a 60 foot base path
- NO ONE other than active players and umpires are permitted in fair territory until the ball is dead or an umpire calls time out. Only players, Team Managers, Coaches, and Directors may request time out. This includes the carrying and passing of batting helmets, etc.
- NO ONE other than players, the Team Manager, one scorekeeper, and a maximum of two adult assistant coaches are permitted on the team bench or in the area of the team bench.
- In the ROOKIE division, it is permissible to have a coach stationed at the rear of the backstop to field passed balls. However, that coach so positioned may not leave the area of the rear of the backstop and must remain MUTE when so positioned. That coach may not make any verbal comments to the umpire, players on the field or to the batter, or otherwise interfere with any play on the field except to correct player fundamentals in between pitches or if player safety is a concern. If there is any violation to this rule, both Managers will be responsible to have that coach leave the position at the rear of the backstop.
FOUL/IN PLAY BALL RULES-GROUND RULES
ANY SITUATION NOT COVERED BY THE FOLLOWING GROUND RULES WILL BE SETTLED BY DECISIONS OF THE UMPIRE. THESE DECISIONS ARE NOT PROTESTABLE.
- Any ball hit in the air, outside of fair territory, is playable if:
- It is in front of the backstop and not beyond an imaginary line drawn between the team bench protective fence and parallel to the foul line.
- It is within an area between the foul line and the team bench or team bench protective fence.
- It is between the foul line and an imaginary line extending from the far end of the team bench protective fence and parallel to the foul line.
- Any thrown ball (other than pitched) lodging in, under, or passing through the backstop or other infield protective fence is a dead ball. Base runners are entitled to advance two bases from the last occupied base at the time of the ball being thrown.
LOCAL RULES OF PLAY
- Home team will ALWAYS take the third (3rd) base dugout. Home team is listed first on the schedule, or has "Home/Away" or "AT" listed.
- Base stealing is not permitted in the Rookie division.
- In Majors, a player may steal second or third base, or home plate when the ball pitched reaches the plate.
- In minors, a player may steal second or third base or home plate when the ball has passed the catcher, or if it's 3 feet of the catcher, or a wild pitch. A wild pitch is defined as: one so high, so low, or so wide of the plate that it cannot be handled with ordinary effort by the catcher.
- SLIDING RULE: Players must try to avoid contact!!
- If the fielder has the ball and is waiting to make the tag, any runner will be called out when the runner does not slide or attempt to get around a fielder. The key phrases here are "attempt to get around" and "has the ball waiting to make the tag". The player does not have to slide or attempt to get around unless the fielder has the ball. Head first sliding is not permitted in any division. EXCEPTION:: diving back to the base to avoid a "pick-off".
- The fielder should not be in the base path without possession of the ball. If he is, it is obstruction. Anytime a runner deliberately and maliciously crashes into a fielder, he should be ejected for un-sportsmanlike conduct. However, if a close play occurs and the runner does not slide but makes incidental contact with the defender before he has the ball, no call should be made. If the defender has the ball, the umpire should judge as to whether the runner made an attempt to get around the fielder or not. If he did, he should not be called out simply because he did not slide or made contact.
- If the defender does not have possession of the ball and a collision occurs as he steps into the base path of the runner to attempt to catch a thrown/hit ball, there is no penalty unless the umpire judges the collision to be deliberate and malicious. If a player is ejected from a game, the player may stay at the field in the spectator area only and the player and players parents are not to disturb the game in any way.
- Bunting is permitted in the Majors and Minors Divisions. In the Rookie division, bunting is not permitted.
- The Infield Fly Rule is a simple and common, but occasionally misunderstood part of the game. An infield fly is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive nor an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied before two are out. The batter is the only one out unless a base runner chooses to run, then the ball is live and he/she can be thrown out.
- There must be less than two outs.
- It is only in effect when runners are on first and second or the bases are full.
- It must be a fair fly ball.
- In the judgment of the umpire it can be caught by an infielder with "ordinary effort."
- It can be but it is not mandatory that it be caught in the infield or by an infielder.
- A bunt or a line drive can never be an infield fly.
- The balk rule does not apply in the Majors, Minors, and Rookie divisions.
- When a pitcher is in contact with the pitchers rubber and in possession of the ball, and the catcher is in the catchers box ready to receive the ball, base runners shall not leave their basses until the ball has been delivered and reaches the plate.
- In the Minors division when a runner intentionally runs out of the baseline to avoid being tagged out, not only is he/she called out, all play will be stopped by the umpire only and the runners will stop at the closest base.
- In the Majors division, batter-runner cannot be tagged out after over-running first base if said batter-runner returns immediately to the base. The batter-runner can turn left or right when over-running first base. If runner makes an attempt (at umpires discretion) to second (2nd) base the runner an be put out by being tagged by the ball before regaining first (1st) base. (Any step toward 2nd base is an attempt).
- Intentional walks are ONLY allowed in the Majors division
- When an accident incapacitates a player, an umpire or Director may immediatiely call time out and the ball becomes "dead". Runners will be placed on the base that they were closest to when time was called. If a player was running to a base, they would receive the base they were going to.
PLAYERS, TEAM MANAGERS, COACHES, AND SPECTATORS CONDUCT
All players, managers, coaches, umpires, league officials, and parents/spectators will follow the AFYBL "Code of Conduct"
ORGANIZATION FOR PLAY
- Players are grouped by age into the following divisions:
6-8 year old Rookies
9-12 year old Minors, combined when there are not enough 9-10 or 11-12 players otherwise,
9-10 year old Minors
11-12 year old Minors
10-12 year old Majors
- IN EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES, ANY AGE RULE MAY BE WAIVED BY: AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE RESPECTIVE DIVISION COMMISSIONERS AND THE LEAGUE COMMISSIONERS
- Loaning/borrowing of players between teams in not permitted for an official game. In the event a team does not have 7 plaers, the game is a forfeit. Teams may the loan/borrow to play an unofficial/practice game, as long as they are a registered player with AFYBL.
- In the Minors, a team must play ten (10) when possible, four (4) of whom must be outfielders. Outfielders must be positioned at least 10 feet from the outside edge of the infield. If one team an only field nine (9) players, the opposing team can still play ten (10). If one team can only field 8 players, the opposing team can play no more than nine (9) players. Each team must have a catcher.
- In the Majors and Minors divisions, nine (9) players constitute a full team. If one team can only field seven (7) players, the opposing team can still field nine (9) players in the Majors and ten (10) players in the Minors. If you play with seven (7) you will need to take an automatic out(s) when you reach your eighth (8th) and ninth (9th) batter position. If a team only has 8 players, an automatic out must be taken in the ninth (9th) batting position. If your lineup is reduced to eight (8) players in the course of playing a game, then the out must be taken in the vacated spot of your lineup.
- In Majors, Minors, and Rookies divisions, it is mandatory to employ CONTINUOUS BATTING ORDER. The original order must be maintained for the entire game. Late arriving players must be inserted at the end of the original batting order.
- All players must wear a protective helmet at the plate, on deck, and when running bases. This rule is in effect for both practices and games.
- In order to participate in the AFYBL games, all players must wear the complete uniform as provided by the AFYBL. Special uniforms are not permitted. If any part of the uniform is misplaced or not available, a substitute uniform may be worn until original uniform is found.
- Catchers must wear all catchers' gear/equipment as provided b the AFYBL, or equivalent, and MUST wear personal protective equipment as necessary, which is furnished by the player. This rule is in effect for both games and practices.
- Metal cleats/spikes are not permitted in the AFYBL
- One on-deck batter is permitted, and he/she must wear protective headgear and be supervised by an adult while on deck.
- ALL PLAYERS NOT ON THE FIELD, AT BAT, ON DECK, OR WARMING UP A PITCHER MUST BE SEATED IN THE DUGOUT.
- All players warming up a pitcher must wear a face mask with protective headgear. There must be an additional player or coach guarding against errant balls hitting players the players warming up.
- Warming up of pitchers (bullpen) and other players will take place well away from the team benches and spectators.
- THE TEAM MANAGER OF THE WINNING TEAM MUST REPORT THE GAME SCORE TO THE DIVISION COMMISSIONER AND ENTER THE SCORE ON THE LEAGUE WEBSITE, AFBASEBALL.COM, WITHIN 24 HOURS. INCLUDED IN THIS REPORT ARE THE NAMES OF ALL THE PITCHERS AND THE NUMBER OF INNINGS PITCHED FOR THE PITCHERS OF EACH GAME
- Both Managers, at the conclusion of each game, must review each others scorebook in order to confirm the score and the names of all the pitchers as well as the number of innings each pitched. Managers must sign each others scorebooks.
10-12 YEAR OLD MAJORS MODIFICATIONS AS FOLLOWS:
- Each player shall play the minimum 2 innings per game, as stated in the rule book. Failure to do so results in forfeit.
- Major league teams shall have 11 players with the option of 12.
- When ½ or more of the scheduled games have been played in the season, a team may have less than 11 players on their roster.
- When a player quits a team during the season regardless of the reasons said player must be replaced with a player the same age or older.
- The following rules are in effect to keep the game running on schedule
- The batter shall keep one foot in the box.
- Five pitches in between innings.
- Courtesy runner for catcher must be the last player to have been declared out.
- Limit on time outs for third base coach
- Each team shall make an effort to hustle on and off the field
- Coaches must bat all players in the batting order. Batting order positions may consist of 2 players that alternate batting when said position would bat. This does not affect the re-entry rule. In the event of an injury the player that is next to bat will remain in the original position and the alternating player will take the injured players position in the lineup. You cannot change your lineup. Alternates must fill in permanent position and rest of lineup will then move up.
- There is no D3K rule in the AFYBL
9-10 YEAR OLD MINORS MODIFICATIONS AS FOLLOWS:
- Teams shall have 12 players with the maximum of 13 players with all teams being as equal in number as possible.
- Each team member shall play two (2) innings or ½ the time limit. Failure to do so will result in forfeit
- Pitching rules are in effect according to the Babe Ruth League rule book and league rules.
- Each team shall bat their entire roster.
- Play four players in the outfield
- Maximum of 8 runs or 3 outs per half inning, whichever happens first. After 8 runs score or 3 outs, teams exchange offense and defense. In the last inning the trailing team may score unlimited runs
ROOKIES MODIFICATIONS AS FOLLOWS:
- Every player must play at least half of the game.
- Bat the entire roster. If one team has 12 players and the other team has 9, bat the number of players present from your roster only.
- Maximum of 6 runs or 3 outs per half inning, whichever happens first. After 6 runs score or 3 outs, teams exchange offense and defense.
- Each batter will have 5 hittable pitches before being declared out. The machine does not always pitch in the strike zone, it will be at the umpires discretion if a pitch was hittable or not.
- A foul ball on the fifth (5th) pitch and subsequent pitches will result in another hittable pitch
- No bunts will be allowed. Full swings where the ball is hit but doesn't travel far will be allowed. If a ball is hit off the bounce, it is a live ball.
- There will be one umpire per game. He/she will be in charge of running the machine and calling outs at bases, their decisions will stand. The pitch count will be called prior to each pitch.
- One defensive teams coach can be out in the field, on the grass, to help direct the players
- There is no extra base awarded on an overthrow.
- Once the ball breaks the plane of the infield dirt, the runners will stop at the appropriate base.
- No base stealing is allowed in the Rookies division
- All players should wear the appropriate baseball clothing. Protective gear needs to be worn (headgear for batters, catchers gear for catchers). A catchers mitt is not included with the equipment due to the use of softer balls
- There will be ten (10) defensive players. The pitcher will stand no more than three (3) feet to the left or right of the pitching machine, and not in front. The infield (4 players) will not block the baseline path. The outfield (4 players) will stand a minimum of 10 feet off of the dirt, in the grass. Catchers must be in the catchers spot behind home plate in order for a foul tip, caught ball, to be called out
- A team with six (6) players or less forfeits the game. A team with seven (7) players is OK and no automatic out will be enforced at the Rookie level
- No infield-fly rule will apply at the Rookie level
- Regular baseball rules apply unless superseded by a Rookie rule
ALL-STAR SELECTION AND RULES
10, 11, and 12 year olds from the Majors
Coaches for the All-Star teams will be selected by the Board of Directors. Assistant coaches will be chosen by the head coach.
10, 11, and 12 year olds from the Majors
- 10, 11, and 12 year old all-star team(s) will be chosen from the Major Division. Each age group will form a team, this team will be known as the "A" team. If there are enough qualified 10, 11, and 12 years to put together additional teams, those teams will be known as the "B" team and so on.
- An 11-12 year old all-star team will be chosen from the Minors Division. This team will be known as the "A" team. If there are enough qualified players to put together another 11-12 all-star Minors team, this team will be known as the "B" team.
- A 9-10 year old all-star team will be chosen from the Minors Division. This team will be known as the "A" team. If there are enough qualified players to put together another 9-10 all-star team, this team will be known as the "B" team.
- 7-8 year old all-star teams will be chosen from the Rookie Division. There are NO Rookie all-star try-outs. The coaches will watch all kids when playing each other during the season of play and from those notes, all-stars will be selected to teams. Players who are 5 and 6 years old are NOT eligible to be an all-star.